I haven’t really known why, but my senses are always drawn towards imagining myself wandering around Camiguin. Since day one in my current job, I had already decided to spend my first personal travel in that gorgeous island. And so, here’s how this trip goes..
I happened to meet some very good friends while in the Graduate School, and these five turned out to be my instant travel buddies for the second time now. We booked our plane tickets around July this year and started scouting for good places to visit in Camiguin.
Our Camiguin Escape started on the wee hours of October 24th. Since our plane departs at around 6:10 a.m., we agreed to meet at the airport (Mactan Cebu International Airport) at 4 o’clock in the morning. Thanks to Lailai who bought our Jollibee breakfast on her way to MCIA, we saved some pennies from the expensive meals sold in the boarding gates.
We boarded our flights at around 5:40 a.m. I’d like to share first though that this trip is very special for the six of us. Why? Not only because its my first time to travel out of Cebu along with friends, but this is Lailai’s first plane ride experience too! Cheers!
The whole flight was clear, peaceful and awesome. Though our plane made it to the skies of Camiguin 10 minutes ahead of time, we landed just a little bit later because of the haze brought about by a forest fire in Indonesia. Thanks to the confident pilot of Cebu Pacific Air Flight DG6690, we safely deplaned after a successful second landing attempt. That was a fun flight indeed Captain! ✈️✈️
After making sure all our baggages are with us, we then proceeded to meet Barney’s Uncle Pat whose home will be our home for the next two days. They were our saver for this trip really! We don’t have to spend a single buck for our accomodation, plus Uncle Pat offered to take us for a free ride to Camiguin tourist destinations! Isn’t that a blessing?!?! 😇😇😇😇😇
At around 8:30 in the morning, we picked up Roma in Benoni Port in Mahinog. I forgot to mention earlier that Roma isn’t with us on our CEB-CMG flight (just me, Michael, Barney, Cath, and Lailai) because she flew the day before to Cagayan de Oro, and from there, caught a 6:30 ride to Camiguin this morning.
After about another 30 minutes ride from Benoni Port, we’ve finally arrived in Uncle Pat’s house and met his equally kind and generous wife, Tita Inday. She immediately offered us a room to stay and some food to eat. After a while, the six of us went with Uncle Pat to harvest some lanzones. Yes buddies! You heard it right! We will be picking up lanzones right across Uncle Pat’s and Tita Inday’s house! 😎😎😎
And after this very worthwhile “lanzones experience” is our mandatory jumpshot! Heee Yahh! 😝😝
We then get back to the house and started devouring on the lanzones’ Uncle Pat harvested for us. True enough, Mambajao lanzones are the cutest yet the sweetest of all! 😋
Together with Uncle Pat, the six of us started our Camiguin tour with a quick drop to Old Church Ruins in Catarman, Camiguin.
This ruined edifice is one of the remains of the Mt. Volcan outbreak on the year 1871. That single eruption buried hundreds of houses and devastated the whole town of Catarman.
Behind this old church is an old bell tower and a hundred year old tree (right picture above).
From stones covered with moss to the various kind of trees facing the sea, all you see are living things. The place is so green and is very relaxing to the eye.
There are plenty of locals who sell candles around. They will even offer to take pictures of you and usually suggests where to pose and uses panoramic shots. It’s free to visit the Old Church Ruins, but our group put on some bills in the donation boxes found in the entrance before we left.
After about 20 minutes of roaming around, we decided to move forward and visit the next nearest destination – the Sunken Cemetery! Sunken Cemetery is one of the remains of the Mt. Vulcan 1871 eruption, and now lies 20 feet underwater.
Just like our previous destination, there are plenty of locals here who would offer to take pictures of you. And OH MEEEEEE! You know what I mean?! Those guys are really really good at it! Here are some of the tricks they’ve made for us. 😃
There are souvenir shops manned by locals in the area. Souvenir items being sold include T-shirts, bracelets, necklaces, ref magnets, shell and glass decorations, ‘sarong’, coin purses and many more. I have bought seven ref magnets (lanzones-shaped) for Php100.00 and a glass decor for Php150.00. That’s a bargain now eh???!! 😄😄
After our mini-photoshoot and souvenir-buying, Uncle Pat brought us to The Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross, an eight kilometer path with 14 human-sized stations situated at Mt.Vulcan in Bonbon, Catarman.
Our time was so limited during our visit that we opted to skip the trek to the top of Mt. Vulcan.
Across that very signage are several shops selling shirts and other souvenir items. T-shirts cost around Php120.00 to Php200.00, depending on the designs and sizes. We spent about 10 minutes hopping from shop to shop and finally I get to buy another souvenir for my mother, a pink ‘sarong’ with a “Camiguin Island” print.
It’s around 12:00 noon when we decided to hit back the road. With some “Party in the USA” music in the background, a bit of jokes from left to right, and a very contagious “Roma Mae” kind of laugh, we made ourselves comfortable against the scorching heat of the sun while finding our next stop. 😎😎😎